Tony Jaa’s Master passes away

panna

(1961-2014)

Panna Rittikrai, Thai action movie legend and trainer to such stars as Tony Jaa,  JeeJa Yanin, and up and comer Marrese Crump passed away yesterday at the age of 51. Rittikrai became famous on an international scale as the action choreographer for Tony Jaa’s debut film, Ong Bak. The wire free Thai Boxing and stunt masterpiece put the Thai action film on the world map and introduced many fans to an alternative to Hong Kong action cinema.

Rittikrai also directed such movies as Ong Bak 2 and Ong Bak 3, Bangkok Knockout, and handled choreography duty on Tom Yum Gong ( The Protector) and the fight-filled Chocolate starring JeeJa Yanin. Rittikrai had been working in the Thai Film industry since 1979. He was involved in upcoming projects featuring Marrese Crump and his latest work was  on Vengeance of an Assassin.  Panna Rittikrai will be sorely missed by the fans of martial arts movies around the world; he will be remembered for leaving an incredible style of action using the Thai martial arts as well as training current and future stars of action films. Rest in peace, Master.

For more information Panna Rittikrai check out this article by the Bangkok Post here.

 

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Vincent Zhao vs Jet Li: The Best Wong Fei Hong?

With the news that Eddie Peng will play Wong Fei Hong in the upcoming Rise of the Legend we want your opinion on the best Wong Fei Hong pre-Eddie. The last two film incarnations have been Jet Li and Vincent Zhao. Which one best embodied what we as fans believe that Wong Fei Hong should be? Of course, Kwan Tak Hing was virtually THE Wong Fei Hong archetype for many years during the golden era of kung fu films. But what about modern times?  Let’s take a brief look at Jet and Vincent and see how they stack up.

 

Jet Li jet2

Mainland Chinese born Li Lian Jie trained in Wu Shu (martial arts) since he was eight years old and went on to win fifteen gold medals in various Wu Shu championships! He has mastered the following Wu Shu styles and routines: Changquan( Long Fist), Fanziquan(tumbling fist), Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Zuiquan (DRunken boxing) just to anme a few. His somewhat stoic on screen nature and the aforementioned martial arts skill made him a perfect Wong Fei Hong and one many fans associate with the folk hero.

 

 

 

 

Vincent Zhao vincent2

Vincent was born in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China and like Jet was trained in Mainland Chinese Wu Shu. Vincent also won championships such as National Junior Championship, National All Around Championship, and the prestigious National Martial Arts championship. Zhao is a noted specialist in the internal Chinese Wu Shu styles of Chen and Yang  Taijiquan. He brought a reflective, scholarly presence to the role of Wong Fei Hong as well as considerable martial prowess.

A New Wong Fei Hong?

rise of the legend

 

The famous Chinese folk hero Wong Fei Hong has been portrayed in movies by such luminaries as Kwan Tak Hing, Jackie Chan, Vincent Zhao, and the incomparable Jet Li. With the new re-boot of the Wong Fei Hong saga, Rise of the Legend, set to release in 2015 many diehard fans of the martial arts genre question the choice of Eddie Peng as the new Wong Fei Hong. Eddie has no martial arts background like Jet Li, Jackie Chan or Vincent Zhao and this is causing uproar in some circles.

 

Whether Eddie is up for the task will remain to be seen. Mr. Peng is excited and nervous about bringing Wong Fei Hong back to the screen as he is well aware of the comparisons he will receive to Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and Vincent Zhao. Eddie has the backing and confidence of director Roy Chow and has committed himself to training for the role. With Rise of the Legend proposed to be for an international audience will Eddie Peng live up to the name or falter? Only time will tell, but I for one am excited about a Wong Fei Hong reboot!

eddie pewng

 

Bruce Lee comes to the UFC!!!!

bruce-lee-ea-sports-2
(courtesy mma-junkie.com)

Check out our sister site’s post regarding Bruce Lee as a playable character in the upcoming “EA Sports UFC” video gamne due out June 17!!!! Can “The Little Dragon” hold his own against the current crop of elite UFC fighters? Will his signature kiai stop his opponents in their tracks? Get the game and find out!!!!

MMA News

As always there is tons of news from the MMA world. One of the most exciting news pieces is the upcoming fight between Dan Henderson and Daniel Cormier! Here is an interesting article from MMAFighting.com about the hype surrounding the fight.

Gina Carano, star of Haywire and the upcoming In the Blood, is scheduled to meet with UFC President Dana White. Could this be a precursor to Carano vs Rousey? MMA journalist Ariel Helwani gives insight into this situation.

Bellator 115 airs tonight headlined by a bout for the heavyweight championship as Chieck Kongo faces reigning champion Vitaly Minakov. Check out the prelims here starting at 7pm EST tonight!

Fan favorite Roy Nelson and MMA legend Minotauro Nogueira face off in UFC Fight Night next Friday April 11. Check out UFC.com fro more information and analysis.

Brock Lesnar fans: UFC.com and UFC Fight Pass are offering a look at The Beast and commentaries from pro wrestling legends Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. If you are a fan of this human wrecking machine this is worth checking out!

Until next time MMA fans…

UFC alternatives part 1

It is not hard to deny that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the king of MMA (at least right now). The shows are enormous and most of the time you get a great fight card. MMA, however, is a growing sport (as well as related disciplines such as kickboxing) and for the sake of us fans there needs to be alternatives. Luckily, we have several that can provide good fights, good drama, and devastating submissions, and knockouts. Check out the following list and if you haven’t give them a try!

Kickboxing
Glory- Boasting such esteemed fighter as Remy Bojanski, Tyrone Spong, Mikro “Cro Cop”, and several up and comers. Check them out for great kickboxing matches.
https://www.gloryworldseries.com/en/

http://www.k-1.tv/
K1– K1 is one of the oldest organizations alive in the kickboxing world. Their world Grand Prix tournament is one of the most highly anticipated events in the martial arts world. Past champions include Alistair Overeem, Mark Hunt, Ernesto Hoost, Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky and Semmy Schilt. Boasting a mix of striking arts such as bare knuckle karate, Chinese San Shou, Tae Kwon Do, Savate, and Western Boxing. Give them a look!

MMA

Bellator– Known for being the number 2 MMA promotion in America, Bellator still hold tournaments to determine the best in each weight class. Current fighter include Rampage Jackson, King Mo, Eddie Alvarez, and Pat Curran. With broadcasts on Spike TV Bellator creates excitement with their tourney format. While not on the level of UFC( yet) they are an entertaining part of the MMA landscape.
World Series of Fighting– THe WSOF is the new kid on the block and they are broadcasted on NBC! They offer interesting fights on free TV and have fighters such as Andre Arlovski, Rolles Gracie, Anthony Johnson, Tyrone Spong, and Rousimar Palhares. They are creating an exciting buzz in the MMA world and seek to dethrone Bellator as the number 2 MMA promotion in the US.

If you are new to MMA or just seeking alternative to the big boy, check these organizations out and enjoy some good ol’ fashioned combat sports!!
Stay tuned for part 2 of UFC alternatives…